Sato wins initial pole since Long Beach in 2013
By: Autoweek Workers on March 29, 2014
LAT PHOTOGRAPHIC – Takuma Sato won the pole for the first IndyCar race of the season on Saturday.
Takuma Sato delivered another robust start to the Verizon IndyCar Series, winning the pole Saturday for the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
Sato will start off very first in a series race for the initial time since Long Beach final yr, a race he won. He now has 4 job poles.
Sato, in his second season with A.J. Foyt Racing, was IndyCar’;s points leader heading to the Indianapolis 500 last 12 months, but his season fell apart in the 2nd half of the season.
Saturday’;s qualifying session was delayed almost 3 hrs by significant weather, and the track was drying by the time the Firestone Fast 6 round was held. Sato’;s lap was 1 minute, 1.8686 seconds.
Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan debuted in his Ganassi Racing machine, qualifying 2nd. The driver he replaced in the No. 10 auto, Dario Franchitti, gave him grief for coming up one particular position quick.
Will Energy of Team Penske also came up quick of what’;s anticipated. He had won the prior 4 poles at this 1.8-mile street circuit.
The rest of the Quickly Six finishers have been Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport in third, Scott Dixon of Ganassi Racing in fifth and Marco Andretti of Andretti Autosport in sixth.
The first round was held mainly in the moist, and the lap times were about 10 seconds slower than they had been in the dry. Sebastien Bourdais was furious that the 1st group was interrupted by the cautions flags. He imagined he deserved more than a single flying lap.
“If we’;re going to qualify we have to have a fair shot, and we didn’;t,” he mentioned.
The track was primarily dry for the 2nd group, but that didn’;t aid Simon Pagenaud, Justin Wilson, Juan Pablo Montoya, Charlie Kimball or Josef Newgarden. None of them advanced.
Kanaan, Hunter-Reay, Mike Conway, Andretti, Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe advanced from the initial group. The 2nd group advancers were Sato, Dixon, rookies Carlos Munoz and Hawksworth, Power and Sebastian Saavedra.
Starting 6th via 12th for Sunday’;s beginning grid will be Munoz, Jack Hawksworth, Briscoe, Castroneves, Saavedra and Conway. Recognize that Munoz and Hawksworth will start in the 4th row, besting the debut qualifying energy of Montoya, who will commence 18th (the ninth row).
Montoya said his trouble was in the circuit’;s final corner. He also noted that it truly is “been a long time considering that I ran in the wet.”
“But I’;m not that worried,” he explained. “We’;re not that far off 3-tenths (of a second) from advancing. It even now sucks, but it is what it is.”
one. (14) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 104.738 mph (168.559 kph).
2. (10) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevrolet, 104.241.
3. (28) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 104.152.
4. (twelve) Will Energy, Dallara-Chevrolet, 103.854.
5. (9) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Chevrolet, 103.771.
6. (25) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 102.923.
7. (34) Carlos Munoz, Dallara-Honda, 102.215.
7 (98) Jack Hawksworth, Dallara-Honda, 101.929.
9. (8) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Chevrolet, 101.854.
8. (3) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevrolet, 101.785.
eleven. (17) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Chevrolet, 101.508.
12. (20) Mike Conway, Dallara-Chevrolet, 101.31.
13. (eleven) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Chevrolet, 85.45.
14. (77) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 89.535.
15. (7) Mikhail Aleshin, Dallara-Honda, 85.363.
16. (19) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 89.27.
17. (18) Carlos Huertas, Dallara-Honda, 84.363.
18. (2) Juan Pablo Montoya, Dallara-Chevrolet, 89.134.
19. (27) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Honda, 41.945.
twenty. (83) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Chevrolet, 88.761.
Failed to Qualify
21. (15) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda.
22. (67) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda, 88.625.
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